Release date: May 6th 2008
Availability: CD, MP3 Download, iTunes
Scott Hamilton and Duke Robillard first made each other's acquaintance in the late sixties when both were involved in blues bands. Forty years later they have been brought together at Rudy Van Gelder's Englewood Cliffs studio to record an album of blues based jazz.
If Scott Hamilton pulls Duke Robillard in the direction of jazz, the opposite is also true; Scott Hamilton's jazz is much bluesier than of late.
The band (Scott Hamilton (tenor sax), Duke Robillard (guitar), Gene Ludwig (Hammond organ) and Chuck Riggs (drums)) is tight in the manner of the great sax/guitar/organ/drums bands of the past and is a deliberate attempt to recapture those earlier, more straightforward ways of making jazz. This is achieved with some great success. There is little risk taking, little outright innovation, but this is not the point and is more than made up for by the sheer quality of the blues improvisations being laid down.
On two tracks baritone sax played by Doug James is featured. Then it really does sound as if the spirit of Gerry Mulligan or Pepper Adams is somewhere near.
Stand out tracks are the spirited version of Duke Ellington's "Cop Out" and the Scott Hamilton original "Something for Red" (which can be listened to in full here).
A rewarding, refreshing album that is a reminder of how much more there is yet to be derived from the blues heritage.
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